ZF Group To Follow 4+1 Strategy At Hyderabad Tech Centre

Mukul Yudhveer Singh
04 Jun 2022
11:16 AM
4 Min Read

The ZF Group believes that software is the thread that binds its focus across domains – e-mobility, ADAS, integrated safety, and vehicle motion control together with digitalisation.

(From L-R) Mr. Chris Debondt, HR VP- Global Domain Functions and India; Amarnath Reddy A, Chief Relations Officer, ITE & C Department, Government of Telangana; Mr. Suresh KV, President and Regional Head for ZF in India; Sri. KT Rama Rao, Cabinet Minister for IT E&C (Electronics & Communication), MA&UD (Municipal Administration & Urban Development) and Industries & Commerce Departments, State of Telangana; Mr. Dirk Adamczyk, Sr. VP Engineering Services & Solutions Innovation and Technology; Mr. Jayesh Ranjan IAS, Principal Secretary, IT E&C (Electronics & Communication), MA&UD (Municipal Administration and Urban Development) and Industries & Commerce Departments of the State of Telangana Government; and Mr. Krishnaswamy Jambunathan, Vice President and Head Tech Center India

The mobility software market, with vehicles becoming smart, going electric and packing more electronics, is one of the most blossoming segments of the automotive vertical. The automotive software market size, as per Markets & Markets, is expected to grow from $ 16.9 billion in 2020 to $ 37 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 16.9%.

ZF Group, a global technology company supplying systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology, taking note of the paradigm shift, has recently unveiled its largest tech and software development centre in Hyderabad, India. 

Krishnaswamy Jambunathan, VP and Head – Technology Center India, ZF Group in India, in a conversation with Mobility Outlook noted that 60% of a vehicle's value, by 2030, will be linked to the prowess and support of the software used in it. “The future of vehicles is connected, autonomous, shared and electric, and at ZF, we are equipped with the right talent and resources to contribute to this growing sector,” he said.

ZF Group's new tech centre was inaugurated on June 1, 2022 by KT Rama Rao, Cabinet Minister for IT E&C (Electronics & Communication), MA&UD (Municipal Administration & Urban Development) and Industries & Commerce Departments, Telangana. Jayesh Ranjan IAS, Principal Secretary, IT E&C (Electronics & Communication), MA&UD (Municipal Administration and Urban Development) and Industries & Commerce Departments, Telangana was also present.

Focussed Investments

The India tech centre has been established to provide support to ZF’s global engineering team. In addition to the sectors mentioned above, the centre will also focus on the transformation of technologies in the digital domain. “This is where we see a value in growing a centre that caters to growing tech, software and digital needs of our consumers,” shared Jambunathan.

So far, the group has invested € 35 million in the development of the centre. The group targets to use the centre to cater to the needs of national as well as international clients. For the record, the ZF Group had reported revenue figures of € 38.3 billion in 2021. 

Suresh KV, President and Regional Head, ZF India, said, “With our vision and market requirements, this new tech centre will help contribute to the overall needs of the stakeholders and impact our technological contribution, enabling us to partner with OEMs on their e-mobility, VMC and safety requirements.”

Jambunathan, meanwhile, said the group’s idea is to evolve as the largest software tech hub. ZF will follow the 4+1 strategy from its Hyderabad centre, which refers to e-mobility, ADAS, integrated safety and vehicle motion control along with digitalisation. The centre currently employs 2,900 professionals. 

As mobility segments, e-mobility, ADAS and digitisation, have been forecast to be some of the biggest markets in the world. The global electric mobility market, as per Fortune Business Insights, is projected to grow from $ 279.45 billion in 2021 to $ 1,507.21 billion in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 27.2% in the said period. 

The ADAS market, on the other hand, has been forecast to hit the $ 74.9 billion mark by 2030. The global motion control market size, as per Markets & Markets, is estimated to be $ 15.5 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $ 20 billion by 2027.

Software As The Biggest Piece Of Puzzle

All the domains that the group is concentrating upon are bound together by different layers of software. “Software is becoming the dominant driver for technology in the automotive space. The question we asked ourselves was where to get the talent and experienced people. Hyderabad turned out to be the best as the city already has a Microsoft office neighbouring us. The same will help us to do better product engineering,” shared Dirk Adamczyk, Sr VP Engineering Services and Solutions, Innovation & Technology, ZF.

The company's focus on software and digitalisation can also be gauged from the fact that it has entered into several collaborations with academia to work and develop solutions for the world. ZF Group's idea behind collaborating with the academia revolves around future products and solutions. The group is of the view that collaborating with universities, professors & students enables it to prepare for the future in a better way. The group, in turn, helps students gain practical knowledge by exposing them to the latest machinery and equipment. Some of the universities it has already collaborated with include IIIT Hyderabad and BITS. 

Jambunathan explained, “The whole idea for collaborating with academia is to find solutions to problems and also do fundamental research. It is not about the work being done but about how a problem is solved. It is also about research, like IIIT has got the data around autonomous driving. Actually, they are the only ones who have released a data set out in the public domain.”

ZF Group is also actively hiring students of these institutions. The company is envisioned to have more than 5,000 professionals working from its tech centre in India during the next few years. 

“On one hand this gives a chance to universities to work on the latest technology and on the other hand it gives students the exposure to real problem-solving skills. The same helps us make sure that only the best of the talent works with us. It's a win-win for both sides,” explained Adamczyk.

Bet On The Future

The company is currently in discussions with a number of Indian clients to collaborate for electric mobility solutions. One of India's top selling EV OEMs, Suresh said, is one among the top names ZF Group is working with in the country. 

“We are in discussion with a lot of customers for the products that are going to be launched in the future. It is quite known that a lot of Indian OEMs would be launching EVs starting 2024-25. The projects are on and we are in constant discussions with almost all the customers,” said Suresh.

It is noteworthy that any ZF team heading into a discussion with a potential client includes professionals sitting in all corners of the world, including the newly inaugurated tech centre in India.

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